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All spoilers regarding the Prequel Trilogy, the Original Trilogy, The Clone Wars and Dark Disciple are unmarked. Examples relating to Disney's EU and the new movies can be spoiler-tagged if deemed necessary.

Asajj Ventress

Species: Zabrak (Dathomirian)

Homeworld: Dathomir

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/asajj_ventress_sw_8727.png
"Do you think you'll still be able to call on the Force even after I've separated your head from your body?"

Voiced by: Nika Futterman, Orlagh Cassidy (Dooku: Jedi Lost)
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Appearances: Dooku: Jedi Lost | Adventures | Age of Republic | The Clone Wars | Kindred Spirits | Dark Disciple

"Now you fall. As all Jedi must."

As an infant, Asajj Ventress was given over to a slaver from Rattatak to spare the rest of the Nightsister tribe from a similar fate. After the slaver was killed in a pirate attack, Ventress discovered her strength in the Force and was taken under the wing of a Jedi Master named Ky Narec. After Narec was killed, Ventress succumbed to the Dark Side, eventually becoming an acolyte and loyal assassin to Count Dooku and serving him during the Clone Wars. However, late in the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious grew concerned by Ventress's growing strength and ordered Dooku to kill her, to which the Count reluctantly complied. Ventress survived the attack and returned to Dathomir, seeking aid in avenging the Sith Lord's betrayal. After a complex series of events that saw the creation (and rebellion) of the monstrous Savage Opress, Dooku ordered an assault that all but destroyed the Nightsisters, leaving Ventress to fend for herself in the galaxy.

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    A-D 
  • Adaptational Heroism: Or anti-heroism, to be more accurate. In the Legends Republic comics, she remained with the Separatists until she faked her death and dropped out near the end of the war. In The Clone Wars, she left the Separatists a lot sooner (although not necessarily by choice since Dooku decided to discard her) and gradually turned into an anti-hero after the destruction of the Nightsisters.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the Legends comic books she originally appeared in, she was a member of the planet Rattatak's indigenous people called Rattataki. In The Clone Wars, this was changed so that she was born as a Nightsister of Dathomir who grew up on Rattatak. Meanwhile, the Siniteen species have become the new indigenous species of Rattatak, with "Rattataki" simply an interchangeable name.
  • Affably Evil: After abandoning the Separatists, the affability she does show (concern for the other Nightsisters, empathy for Ahsoka, and ultimately her love for Quinlan Vos) appears to be genuine.
  • Anti-Hero: She's evolved into one of these since the destruction of the Nightsisters.
    Obi-Wan: When did you become the good guy?
    Ventress: Don't insult me.
  • The Apprentice: She is Count Dooku's, although she is not an official Sith apprentice. Darth Sidious suspects Dooku might make her one as she becomes more powerful and thus orders Dooku to kill her.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: When she was sent to bring Toydaria into the Confederacy, Ventress ends up threatening to kill King Katuunko after Yoda survives her ambush.
  • Bald of Evil: Flashbacks revealed that she's not naturally hairless, and only shaved her hair after the death of Ky Narec. It was confirmed by Filoni that she chose this as a way to express her allegiance to the Dark Side and to the Sith, and after leaving Dooku and becoming a bounty hunter, she decided to let her hair grow out. Between that and the destruction of the Nightsisters, she has been slowly moving towards Bald of Awesome.
  • Bald Woman: It’s not naturally since flashbacks present that she used to have a mohawk (in Legends, she was naturally bald as a Rattataki species trait) and then shaved her head after the death of Ky Narec. She eventually grew it back.
  • The Baroness: When she was still part of the Separatists serving under Count Dooku before he betrayed her.
  • Berserk Button: Insulting or downplaying her skills. Doing so nearly got Luminara killed, and earned Captain Argyus a lightsaber through the back.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: In the Pilot Movie, her lightsabers could be joined at the hilt to form a double-bladed one. Obi-Wan sliced through the hilt to separate them and she's never used the technique since.
  • Break the Cutie: She started out as a girl sold to a slaver as an infant. Then her owner, who is implied to have been a decent one, got killed, and she was taken in and happily adopted by a Jedi Master... then he got murdered. Alone and driven mad with grief, she turned to the Dark Side and then became an apprentice and assassin to Count Dooku. Then, Dooku betrays and tries to kill her at the behest of his master. Then, her clan is wiped out in retribution for her surviving the assassination attempt and proceeding to try and pay Dooku back in kind.
  • Bounty Hunter: She temporarily joins Boba Fett's group in "Bounty" and becomes a full-time bounty hunter afterwards.
  • Canon Immigrant: She originated from Legends' Clone Wars micro series and Republic comics before becoming a character in the Canon as a result of her appearances in The Clone Wars.
  • Catch and Return: When she tested the Nightbrother competitors in battle, she caught a spear one of them had thrown at her and threw it back at him, impaling him on it.
  • Character Development: Over the course of seasons three through five, she went from being Dooku's somewhat underdeveloped and psychotic dragon into a tragic and complex character who can relate to the plight of others. She even delivered a What the Hell, Hero? to Anakin on Ahsoka's behalf when the Jedi Order abandoned her.
  • Cleavage Window: Her first and second outfits have this.
  • The Coats Are Off: She often removed the skirt of her first outfit.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ventress does NOT fight fair, which is part of what makes her such a deadly opponent, as Luminara Unduli almost fatally found out.
  • Composite Character: Her roles of being Quinlan Vos's lover and later redeeming him through love appears to be inspired by the Legends character Khaleen Hentz.
  • Contralto of Danger: Ventress's voice is much lower and more gravelly than most of the other female characters in The Clone Wars.
  • Cool Helmet: She gets one in the fifth season so she can operate in Republic space without being arrested for war crimes.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Savage Opress, whom she used to try to avenge Count Dooku's betrayal, turned against her after he had enough of her abuse.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In "Ambush", Yoda was able to take her lightsabers using the Force, with no effort.
    • In "Monster", she dished one out to the Nightbrother competitors, but Savage Opress was the only one to come close to matching her.
    • In "Witches of the Mist", after Savage turned against her during their lightsaber duel against Count Dooku, she tried to fight her former Master on her own, but she was defeated. Count Dooku even warned her that without the aid of Savage, she's no match for him.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Her Nightsister attire included one of these.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's very sinister and quite dangerous, at least until the end of season four, where she becomes more of a neutral figure (although she's no less dangerous).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's shown in a Troubled Backstory Flashback that Ventress was given away to a slaver while she was just a toddler. While this alone would be tragic enough, the guy seemed to have been at least decent to her as she seemed quite upset when she found his dead body. Then, Jedi Master Ky Narec, who found her, raised her, and taught her to use the Force, was killed before her eyes.
  • Dark Magical Girl: She fits the description to a "T": she fought for the Separatists to gain Count Dooku's approval, her greatest fear is being left with nothing, and gradually turned away from the Dark Side after Dooku abandoned her. She even helped Ahsoka in exchange for Ahsoka getting her a full pardon.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has quite a sarcastic streak, which she takes up a few notches during the fourth season.
  • Death by Adaptation: In Legends (and prior to the retcons made by The Clone Wars), she faked her death before disappearing from the galactic scene altogether near the end of the war. In the Canon (which is revealed via Dark Disciple, the conclusion of her storyline in The Clone Wars), she legitimately dies as a result of doing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Delinquent Hair: By the time of Dark Disciple, Ventress has grown a mohawk since her last appearance on The Clone Wars. In contrast to her brown hair in her Troubled Back Story Flashback in The Clone Wars, it's white-blond in the novel. However, it is unclear which one is her original hair color and which one was dyed.
  • Deuteragonist: Downplayed, as she's more of a tetragonist. She has the most extensive character arc besides Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies in Quinlan Vos's arms after saving him, physically and spiritually, from Dooku.
  • The Dragon: To Dooku, prior to his betrayal.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Following the decimation of the Nightsisters, when arriving on Tatooine, Ventress goes straight to a bar, where she orders a short drink, gulps it down at once, and immediately orders another.
  • Dual Wielding: She uses twin lightsabers.

    E-H 
  • Enemy Mine: She teams up with Obi-Wan to fight Savage and Darth Maul.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The death of Ky Narec sent her into the Dark Side of the Force. After deciding to fully join the Nightsisters, Ventress comes the closest she has ever been to being happy and having a family since Narec's death. The Nightsister massacre hits her hard and unlike any other time, Ventress fully blames herself. Oddly, this leads her to becoming more good than evil.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She is appalled when she realizes that the "cargo" she was set to deliver on Quarzite was actually a slave girl. She could relate to the slave and worked to set her free... while ensuring she still received profits from both faking her delivery to Otua Blank and honestly giving her back to her brother.
  • Evil Albino: Her chalky white skin (which is common to all Dathomirian females) combined with her Separatist allegiances for the first three seasons makes her this trope. After Count Dooku betrays her, she's more of a morally ambiguous albino.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Anakin. They both used to be slaves on a remote Crapsack World, have been rescued by a Jedi who were considered somewhat "rogues" by others, and became the apprentices of a Sith Lord. While Anakin started slipping closer and closer to the Dark Side during the fourth season, Asajj seems to have started to work on a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the same season. They also both die in a similar manner: they're killed by Force lightning in order to save someone they love from their former master.
    • To a lesser extent, she's a counterpart to Ahsoka as well: both of their Masters were Jedi who turned to Dark Side, they both started by using a single green-bladed lightsaber and picked up Dual Wielding later, and the way the Jedi Council abandoned Ahsoka under pressure from the Senate eerily resembles how Dooku betrayed Ventress on Sidous' orders. They even came to realize that they had rather similar experiences during the fifth season.
  • Evil Laugh: She lets out a pretty impressive cackle while fighting Ahsoka and Luminara in "Cloak of Darkness".
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Ventress has a very low, raspy, and sinister voice that borders on Guttural Growler.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Her grudge against Count Dooku, as well as her lasting enmity with Savage Opress.
  • Fallen Hero: Ventress was once a Jedi Padawan who fought to free Rattatak from gangs of ruthless criminals. She turned to the Dark Side after her Jedi Master Ky Narec was killed and she sought revenge.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Usually, whenever she acts polite, it is a façade that is meant to either mock or deceive.
  • Femme Fatale: Ventress knows that most humanoids find her attractive. By the time of Dark Disciple, she has no qualms about using this as a weapon while working on a job. She even has two different tactics: the "nod-and-wink" is supposedly more subtle (although it's not shown), whereas the "full-on gambit" is flat-out active seduction and unsubtle flirtation.
  • Freudian Excuse: Given her Dark and Troubled Past mentioned above, it's really no wonder Dooku was able to turn her to his side so easily.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She has this during the fourth season, although it's less of a change in morality and more a choice to stop actively opposing the heroes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She chooses a path that she knows will likely lead to her death in order to redeem Quinlan Vos.
  • High-Voltage Death: Ventress gets blasted to death with Dooku's Force lightning meant for Quinlan Vos.

    I-P 
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Her eyes are a very pale shade of blue, although she can be quite hot-blooded and aggressive at times.
  • Important Hair Cut: Inverted. Word of God said that Ventress shaved her hair as a way of showing her allegiance to the Sith. By Dark Disciple, she stopped doing so as a way of showing that — at least partially — she'd turned away from the Sith teachings.
  • In the Hood: Not often, but sometimes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While she starts out as a murderous assassin, Ventress develops into a snarky and aggressive yet generally alright individual who's willing to help and empathize with others.
  • Kick the Dog: Her treatment of Savage during the Nightsisters trilogy. Having him transformed and brainwashed, forcing him to kill his own brother (who Savage had given himself up to protect), handing him over to Count Dooku for Sith training, and constantly berating him when he proves to be no match for Dooku. After all this, it's really no surprise that Savage wants to kill her.
  • Laser Blade: She wields two curved-hilt red-bladed lightsabers. Later, after they were stolen by Barriss Offee, Ventress wields a new yellow-bladed lightsaber.
  • Last of Her Kind: In "Massacre", Grievous's army decimated the Nightsisters, leaving — ironically — Ventress and Talzin, the primary targets of the attack, the sole survivors. After Dark Disciple, both her and Talzin are dead.
  • Lean and Mean: She's very thin, but no less dangerous for it.
  • Lima Syndrome:
    • In "Bounty", she comes to sympathize with Pluma Sodi when she realizes how similar their circumstances are and decides to fool her contractor along with letting the girl and her brother go — for some extra money.
    • In "To Catch a Jedi", she also comes to realize how much she has in common with Ahsoka and in exchange for Ahsoka getting her a pardon for her involvement with the Separatists, she helps the girl prove her innocence.
  • Made a Slave: She was given up at birth to a criminal. However, the man who purchased her apparently treated her well as she seemed genuinely saddened by his death.
  • Master Swordswoman: She's one of only two characters who managed to best General Grievous in a lightsaber duel without resorting to using the Force against him. She was, however, no match for Count Dooku in a straight fight.
  • Meaningful Name: Asajj might come from the sanskrit "assajan", which means wicked, crooked and sinful, all of which fits her role and personality prior to her Character Development. It's also a Shout-Out to Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, where Asaji is the name of the film's version of Lady Macbeth. It can also be derived from the Japanese "asahi", meaning "morning sun", reflecting her turning away from the Dark Side.
  • Mind over Matter: Just like the rest of the Force-users in the Canon, Ventress is telekinetic.
  • Misery Builds Character: Ventress becomes a much better person after her life takes a massive turn for the worse.
  • Misplaced Retribution: She admits that she blamed the Jedi for "abandoning" Ky Narec when it's possible that they simply didn't know that he was alive. To be fair, Dooku wanted her on his side so he was probably manipulating her emotions.
  • Mugged for Disguise: She was attacked by Barriss Offee, who steals Ventress's helmet and lightsabers to pose as her while attacking Ahsoka.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Ventress was able to beat the ever-loving crap out of several Nightbrothers, all of whom had at least fifty pounds of muscle on her, while fighting hand-to-hand.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After the Nightsisters are destroyed by Grievous' army, she completely breaks down and blames herself for dragging the clan into her quest for vengeance.
  • Never My Fault:
    • In "Nightsisters", after their defeat at Dooku's hands, Ventress irritably remarked that she had warned the other Nightsisters of Dooku's power, ignoring that she had been defeated by her former master as well.
    • In "Witches of the Mist", she blamed Savage for their combined inability to defeat Dooku, ignoring that she wasn't doing much better against the Count herself.
    • In "Massacre", she claims that Savage "rejected [her] guidance". In reality, Savage lashed out at Ventress for her abusive treatment and for continually berating him due to his inability to defeat Dooku.
      • Averted twice later in the same episode, where she blames herself for not only General Grievous' army coming to Dathomir since it was her quest for vengeance against Dooku that led him to seek retribution, but for the annihilation of the Nightsisters.
  • Not So Different: In "The Wrong Jedi", she pursues and captures Ahsoka, who's been framed for sedition, to claim the bounty on her head. However, she comes to sympathize with Ahsoka's plight, knowing all-too-well what it feels like to have those you trust turn their backs on you. When she reveals this to Anakin, he even has to admit, albeit silently, that she's completely right.
  • Opposites Attract: Quinlan Vos's fun and friendly personality is one of the things that win him the no-nonsense yet usually cold and distant Ventress's love.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her own mother handed her over to a slaver (albeit reluctantly) when she was a toddler and her father was most likely killed according to the tradition, just like the father of Savage and Maul.
  • Pet the Dog: She returns a girl who had been kidnapped as a bride for a warlord to her brother, though Ventress did insist on being paid for her troubles.

    R-W 
  • Rapid Hair Growth: She grew her hair back pretty quickly after taking up bounty hunting, if the cover of Dark Disciple is any indication.
  • Run or Die: Twice.
    • First after Savage turned against her during their battle against Dooku, she tried to kill her former Master on her own. Ultimately, she was forced to abandon the fight.
    • During the Battle of Dathomir, she was shot by a Super Battle Droid and forced to run to save her life.
  • Serendipitous Survival: In "Ambush", Yoda spares her and lets her go free despite having her cornered. Naturally, she goes on to kill more people, but as the installment goes on, she ultimately finds her own way and becomes a Spanner in the Works, as written below.
  • She's Got Legs: And likes to show it. Her Nightsister outfit is a Hell-Bent for Leather Zettai Ryouiki.
  • She-Fu: Her unarmed combat style includes lots of acrobatic stunts.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: During her brief team-up with Obi-Wan.
    [Asajj tosses one of her lightsabers to Obi-Wan]
    Asajj: I want that back.
    Obi-Wan: That's fine. Red's not my color.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: She often speaks in a gentle, almost purring tone, although it can become harsh and snarling at the drop of a hat and she later drops the "sadist" part (mostly).
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • She ruined Darth Maul's first attempt at vengeance on Obi-Wan, which obviously allows Obi-Wan to do everything important he does later on.
    • She also ruins Barriss's plot to frame Ahsoka for the temple bombing, while also indirectly encouraging Ahsoka to follow her own path now that she's been thrown aside by the people she thought she could trust as she knows from personal experience... which ultimately leads to Ahsoka doing everything important she does later on, like becoming an important figure to the Rebellion.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Quinlan Vos.
  • Start of Darkness: She had a pretty rough life, but the death of her master and father figure, Ky Narec, seems to have been the last straw.
  • Statuesque Stunner: According to the Official Database, Ventress is 179 cm/5'10" tall note , she is considered rather attractive by multiple characters, and she's one of the female characters that are fan service in The Clone Wars.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Her first costume.
  • Tattooed Crook: She has tattoos on her face and head, and is never what you would call a law-abiding citizen.
  • Together in Death: With the other Nightsisters.
  • Took a Level in Badass: During the first season, Ahsoka and Luminara together were able to match her and Sidious had no trust in her abilities at all. By time of the third season, she's become strong enough to match Obi-Wan and Anakin despite being injured and for Sidious to consider her a threat.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After recommitting herself to the Nightsisters and becoming a bounty hunter, Ventress is much more at peace with herself, changing from a vicious villainess to more of a morally neutral Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her quest for vengance against Dooku resulted in unleashing Savage Opress into the Galaxy, which ultimately led to the fall of Duchess Satine's pacifist New Mandalorian goverment.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Her Troubled Backstory Flashback revealed that she was indeed a sweet kid until her parental figure Ky Narec was murdered.
  • Vapor Wear: Her Sexy Backless Outfit strongly implies this.
  • Villain Protagonist: She began to become this during the third season and it was played up in the fourth season.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The main reason for her siding with the Separatists seems to have been her desire to prove herself to Count Dooku as a worthy apprentice.
  • Whip Sword: She used a Sinister Scythe-on-a-chain during the second test of the Nightbrother "competitors" in "Monster".
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Her first outfit, under the long skirt, which she removed when fighting.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Though she starts off seeming like your typical villainess, it's revealed that she was this all along. She becomes especially sympathetic after Count Dooku, the man who trained her in the ways of the Dark Side, betrayed her.
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